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Alexandra Castillo-Ruiz

Asst Professor Research    Research Assistant Professor    

BS, Universidad Nacional Agraria, Peru, 2001
MA, Michigan State University, USA, 2007
PhD, Michigan State University, USA, 2010
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Massachusetts Medical School, USA, 2010 – 2014
Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgia State University, USA, 2014 – 2018


Circadian Rhythms
Development Neurobiology


Dr. Castillo-Ruiz is a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Nancy Forger. She received her BSc from Universidad Nacional Agraria in Peru and then completed her MA and PhD in the lab of Dr. Antonio Nunez at Michigan State University, where she studied neural substrates of circadian rhythmicity in diurnal and nocturnal rodents. As a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. William Schwartz at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, she studied the effects of the social environment on circadian rhythms at the brain and behavioral levels. In the Forger lab, she investigates the role that birth plays on brain and behavioral development. She has taught Physiological Psychology for the Department of Psychology and Hormones and Behavior for the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State University.



Castillo-Ruiz A, Mosley M, George AJ, Mussaji LF, Fullerton EF, Ruszkowski EM, Jacobs AJ, Gewirtz AT, Chassaing B, Forger NG. The microbiota influences cell death and microglial colonization in the perinatal mouse brain. Brain Behav Immun (In press).

Mosley M, Weathington J, Cortes L, Bruggeman E, Castillo-Ruiz A, Xue B, Forger NG (2017) Neonatal inhibition of DNA methylation alters cell phenotype in sexually dimorphic regions of the mouse brain. Endocrinology 158(6):1838-1848.

Forger NG, Strahan JA, Castillo-Ruiz A (2016) Cellular and molecular mechanisms of sexual differentiation in the nervous system. Front Neurosci 40: 67- 86.

Castillo-Ruiz A, Gall AJ, Smale L, Nunez AA (2013) Day-night differences in neural activation in histaminergic and serotonergic areas with putative projections to the cerebrospinal fluid in a diurnal brain. Neuroscience 250: 352–363.

Castillo-Ruiz A, Paul MJ, Schwartz WJ (2012) In search of a temporal niche: Social interactions. Prog Brain Res 199: 267- 280.

Castillo-Ruiz A, Nunez AA (2011) Fos expression in arousal and reward areas of the brain in grass rats following induced wakefulness. Physiol Behav 103 (3-4): 384-392.

Castillo-Ruiz A, Nixon JP, Smale L, Nunez AA (2010) Neural activation in arousal and reward areas of the brain in day-active and night-active grass rats. Neuroscience 165 (2): 337-349.

Castillo-Ruiz A, Lundrigan B (2007) “Lama pacos” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web.

Castillo-Ruiz A, Nunez AA (2007) Cholinergic projections to the suprachiasmatic nucleus and lower subparaventricular zone in diurnal and nocturnal rodents. Brain Res 1151: 91-101.

Williams de Castro M, Castillo-Ruiz A, Rosas C (2003) Observaciones preliminares sobre comportamiento prenatal y postnatal de Rattus rattus var. norvegicus (Linneo 1758) en laboratorio. Ecologia Aplicada (2): 23- 26.